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Kerala Blasters v Mumbai City

ISL 2019-20: Eelco Schattorie - Mumbai City were lucky to get three points

21:11 GMT+3 24/10/2019
Kerala Blasters vs Mumbai City
The Kerala Blasters coach took responsibility of his team's loss at home against Mumbai City FC...

Kerala Blasters suffered their first win of the Indian Super League (ISL) season six in just their second match as they went down 0-1 against Mumbai City at home.

Blasters’ poor home form continued as Eelco Schattorie’s men remained struggled to create clear-cut chances for most of the match at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium on Thursday.

About his team’s performance, the Dutch coach said, “I take full responsibility for the loss. I made two changes and the third (substitution) one was not the right one. I put Sahal (Abdul Samad) on the left and told him to put the ball behind for Messi (Bouli) and Bartholomew (Ogbeche).

“The defence did not do well for the goal. Overall, before the game, I would have signed up for a point. In a short time, we had a lot of problems, my Left Centre Back (Jairo Rodrigues) played with two injections. The fluidity was not there. Mumbai City played very poorly, they got lucky to get away with three points. The last save from Amrinder (Singh) was from another planet.”

Schattorie backed goalkeeper Bilal Khan’s performance even after the goalkeeper continued to make nervous errors in goal. He said, “He (Bilal Khan) is a mountain at the back. I am very simple, if a player needs to play, he will get my full confidence. The problem is, Shibinraj and Bilal never had a goalkeeping coach. They made a big step to the ISL and it takes a lot of time. My number one goalkeeper is TP (Rehenesh).”

The former NorthEast United coach accepted that his team lacked creativity upfront but cited Mario Arques’ injury as one of the reasons for that. He said, “If you lose Mario (Arques), who is a very creative player, of course, that is a concern. Mumbai City didn't play well. When you miss a creative player, it makes it more difficult.”

Schattorie had previously mentioned that it will take two-three weeks for the team to play the way he wants them to play. Injuries have made life difficult for the team, according to the coach. “The big blow was Mario’s injury. Three or four weeks maybe (before he is fit). It is a long process. We have a lot of young players. Rahul KP came in and did pretty well. I don't know how long it will take for the team (to reach the expected level).”

Mumbai City boss Jorge Costa was satisfied with his team's performance in the first match of the season. He said, "I think we played a wonderful game. In the first half, from what I remember from the game, we had more of the ball, more chances to score.

"Also, sometimes I make mistakes, in my opinion, I think the referee made a big mistake. It was a clear penalty and a red card. We did our job. I am very happy with all the players. We scored, and in the last minute, they had a huge chance to finish the game 1-1. It was the only chance they had."

Costa explained why he benched star striker Modou Sougou. "Sougou was coming back from an injury. Hence he started on the bench. I have 25 players and I trust all of them," said the Portuguese coach.